South Africa expected to be gateway for VN exports to Africa

Zine Zin

South African businesses learn about Vietnamese rice products at the conference. — VNA/VNS Photo Truong Phi Hung

Viet Nam expects South Africa to be a gateway for exported Vietnamese rice to enter other markets in Africa, said Deputy Head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Import-Export Department Tran Quoc Toan, who led the Vietnamese trade promotion team during a two-day visit to South Africa that ended on Monday.

Speaking at a meeting with the South African business delegation led by Director of the South African Department of Trade and Industry’s Asia Bilateral Relations International Trade and Economic Development Division Madileke Ramushu, Toan shared information relevant to Viet Nam’s tax and customs regulations for rice export and distribution.

Toan said with consumption of about 850,000 tonnes per year, South Africa was a potential export market for Vietnamese enterprises. In addition, as the number of Asian tourists and labourers rises demand for rice is expected to continue to increase. The country produces almost no rice because of its environmental conditions, meaning it will need to import more of the crop.

As a leading economy in Africa with extensive trade relations with many countries in the continent, South Africa acts as a gateway for Vietnamese rice businesses to enter the large African market, said Toan.

“In addition to promoting the consumption of rice in the South African market, Vietnamese businesses need to expand relations with international trading partners here,” said Toan.

Ramushu said South Africa was willing to create the best conditions for Vietnamese businesses to increase their rice exports to the country and would help them gain access to other markets in the continent, especially those in the Southern African Development Community with a total population of 650 million people.

In terms of the trade balance between the two countries, Madileke said the value-added content of South African exports to Viet Nam was still low because it mainly exported raw materials while importing finished products from Viet Nam.

He suggested Vietnamese enterprises support their South African counterparts in increasing processing volume of export products to improve their value.

Madileke also called on Vietnamese businesses to invest in processing in South Africa and thereby bring their products into the African market.

On the same day, the Vietnamese delegation in collaboration with the Vietnamese Embassy in South Africa and the Chamber of Industry and Commerce of Johannesburg held a seminar to promote Vietnamese rice export. In addition to the nine leading rice exporters from Vietnam, the seminar attracted the participation of dozens of South African businesses operating in the field of trade.

Speaking at the event, Vietnamese Ambassador to South Africa Vu Van Dung emphasised that this was a diplomatic activity serving the economy and was part of the series of activities to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries (1993-2018).

“The trade promotion will help turn the potential into practical co-operative results, bringing economic benefits to the business communities of the two countries as well as contributing to tightening diplomatic relations, which are already very good,” said Dung.

At the seminar, Vietnamese enterprises focused on the introduction of rice products, processing technology, preservation and packaging, which were appreciated by the South Africa partners for their design and quality. — VNS

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